Treat for a Geek
A place by the geeks, for the geeks, sounds like a geek's paradise. Decent food surrounded by superheroes, warriors and monsters, what more could a geek - or even non-geek - want?
Address: No. 131 Maya Ave, Colombo 00500
Phone: 077 296 9696
Directions: from Havelock Road cross the roundabout by Pizza Hut and continue about 200m and Geek HQ will be on the left.
Covid Care: staff wearing masks; hand sanitiser on the counter.
We got an idea what to expect when we walked in through a door guarded on each side by a seven foot high replica of the River Statues from Lord of the Rings. Each one is wearing a helmet, one hand resting on his sword, the other hand stretched out in front as if warning us to stop, to not go in!
However once inside the atmosphere is warmer - and it is den of Geek! Almost every wall is taken up with a display cabinet housing literally hundreds of action figures and models from fantasy series, sci fi and superhero franchises and more; any wall not bearing a display cabin instead has pictures, fan art, on the same themes. A sign says that this is actually the largest collection of Lord of the Rings figurines in Asia, and that is not hard to believe.
Aside from the main room with counter and welcoming geek staff, there is also a room to one side with a bookshelf containing comics and magazines to read while there; a second room at the back serves as something of a break-out room, walls covered in fan pictures; and stairs lead up to the second floor with a shop.
The food on offer is mostly a selection of Sri Lankan kottu, paan and rice, or sub sandwiches and burgers. Probably the most popular geek food! They are best known for their burgers, with the range including dishes with one, two, four or six patties. These are all available in beef, chicken, pork or veggie. They also have an ongoing challenge: if you can finish their signature, six patty burger, with fries and milkshake, within seven minutes, then it's for free.
They are also well known for their shakes, and have a selection of gourmet shakes, as well as a few teas and juices.
We have been here before when the menu was wider, but they seem to have simplified it. One of us was tempted for a moment by the challenge but we decided to let it go and we ordered regular burgers and a chicken satay with rice.
Food and Drink
The drinks were first to arrive, after a wait of no less than fifteen minutes, which does seem excessively long for a few drinks, even if they were freshly made. However that gave us longer for the anticipation to build and it was worth it. Their peanut butter shakes are nothing short of outstanding: thick, creamy and it takes a moment for the taste of peanut butter to come through but when it does, wow!
For the main meal we chose two burgers, one with one patty and one with two. We also decided to try the satay with fried rice.
Clockwise from top left: 1 patty burger; two pics of two patty burgers; satay with fried rice
The burgers were good, nicely cooked and not dry, with lots of flavour enhanced by the fillings, the salad and sauces. Despite being tasty, we were glad that we had only gone for the one and two patty burgers, not the six!
The fries were somewhat disappointing though. They looked good, but they were rather dry and tasted stale. One of us wondered if they were potato! Even the ketchup couldn't make them taste good.
On the other hand the satay was quite good. The two skewers were loaded with fresh chicken and slathered in a peanut sauce (which had a hint of peanut butter). The rice was well cooked and tasted okay if a little bland. The potato slices were much better than the fries but were unnecessary as it came with rice; it might have been better to add a vegetable or even some salad.
All in all the food was mixed. The burgers and satay were good, the rice average but the fries really were not good.
We paid Rs6,810 for two burgers, a satay and two rounds of drinks so, while not being cheap, it was reasonably priced. Burgers start from Rs750 for one patty and go up to Rs3500 for the six patty option (unless of course you finish it in under seven minutes). Fried rice starts from Rs450 and most kottu is Rs750.
Ambience and Service
Considering that many of the people who come in are fellow fans more than diners, the service is unsurprisingly welcoming and friendly. Unfortunately as noted earlier, it is was bit slow, at least getting our first drinks but it seemed to warm up after that.
The real attraction of Geek HQ of course is the surroundings; the displays, the figurines, the posters and artwork. It's a place where readers of comics, RPGers, Trekkies and the like can come and discuss their passion with other fans. For them, the food is secondary. Pre-Covid they used to have game nights and a quiz night but that is unfortunately on hold; let's hope it can be rebooted soon.